undreds of years ago, guitars evolved as one of the more generally-useful stringed instruments â€” more portable than a concert harp, easier to tune than a piano.
Popular music then wandered through the classical period and into the 20th century and in the war years the dance-band grew into the big-band, riding the popularity of that newly popular idiom called â€œJazzâ€.
During the hardships of these years, popular entertainment focused primarily on propaganda movies and on movies showing elegant life. These movies tended to feature big-band music.
But as the US economy returned to normal, economics and popular taste began to downsize the bands. In the â€˜50s, television began competing with live entertainment and with the movies, and during this same time, Mr. Les Paulâ€™s new electric amplifier for guitar was coming into greater use among combos. The rise of â€œrhythm & bluesâ€, and its adoption by the mainstream white community as â€œrock & rollâ€ was accelerated as radio abandoned drama as a lost cause and began to focus on musical programs.
And the result?
A singer, plus what was originally the â€œrhythm sectionâ€ of the big band â€” bass, guitar (now amplified), & drums â€” became the whole band. The economics were right, the popular taste was right, and the radio desperately needed material. Big-bands disappeared; Elvis and then the Stones took over.
Electric guitar design adapted to amplification, dropping the (now unneeded) resonant sound-box, and acoustic basses adapted in the same way. Since a guitar-player could often sing while playing, the bands got very compact.
So in a way, as we will see, Touch-Style music evolved from the small combo, and in particular, the electric guitar of the rock band!